Neighbors in an area known for beautiful trees are angry after the city chopped some of them down, and the city admits it was a mistake.
Three days ago, families in the historic Manheim Neighborhood just off 43rd and Troost woke up to an unpleasant surprise as chainsaws cut down one large sycamore tree after another so construction crews could put down brand new sidewalks.
"You only notice a tree when it's not there. It's the most beautiful object in the neighborhood. It defines the character of our neighborhood and made it one of the nicer places to live in," Bill Drummond said.
He and his neighbors said they attended several green zone impact meetings about improvements that would be made in their neighborhood, but cutting the trees down was never on the table.
"I really think taking trees down is not good for the environment. Not good for anything. I feel this is a green impact zone and we should do things that are green and more progressive," neighbor Cynthia McKay said.
Thursday, though, residents got some good news. Dennis Gagnon with Kansas City, MO, said a big mistake was made in the process. Normally, public works makes a list of trees they believe should go, because of things like large roots buckling the sidewalk, and then someone with the parks and rec department is given the lists to review before anything is cut down.
"The parks and rec normally forwards a lists of those trees and their folks review and advise which trees should be spared," Gagnon said. "Unfortunately what happened in this instance is a classic situation of a broken link in the process chain. The individual who normally forwards the lists and communicates with the parks and rec department, there's a vacancy in that position. Somewhere through miscommunication that job task did not happen."
So for now the Manheim Neighborhood residents are glad the city is trying to make the mistake right and all cutting has been put to a halt.
The city said 20 trees were cut down, but thanks to the vocal citizens who complained, the 75 other trees that were marked with a giant "x" will be reviewed to see if they can be saved.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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